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Gnarls Barkley Biography

Gnarls Barkley Biography

Gnarls Barkley is a musical collaboration between multi-instrumentalist and producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) from New York, and rapper/vocalist Cee-Lo Green (Thomas Callaway), from Atlanta. Their first album, St. Elsewhere, was released in 2006; it and their first hit, "Crazy", were major commercial successes, and were noted for their large sales by download.

Gnarls Barkley is a two person participating musical group. Prior to their collaboration, both had their own lengthy careers. Cee-lo first entered the music scene as part of the Atlanta hip-hop group Goodie Mob which had a large hand in the Dirty South Movement of the 1990s. Cee-Lo left the group after their third album in 1999 and started his solo career. He released two solo albums, one in 2002, and one in 2004. In 2006 his former record label released a Cee-Lo's greatest hits album to capitalise on the success of Gnarls Barkley. Danger Mouse has produced for a number of hip-hop artists, and he produced Gorillaz' Grammy winning album Demon Days. He garnered national attention for his Grey Album, which blended samples from Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles' White Album. They had first met in 2003 when Cee-Lo was on tour and Danger Mouse happened to be the DJ, and started working together on the songs which were to become the St. Elsewhere album; before that, their collaborations included the song What You Sittin' On? for Lex Records in 2004, and Benzie Box from the Dangerdoom album The Mouse and the Mask in 2005. They took the name Gnarls Barkley for their project as a duo. Burton explains the collaboration's name came from friends, "making up fictional celebrity names like Prince Gnarls and Bob Gnarley." When someone came up with Gnarls Barkley, Burton wrote it down. They were signed to Downtown Records by Josh Deutsch, after their song "Crazy" was presented to him by Danger Mouse's manager. It was released as their first single on April 3, 2006, preceded by its release as digital download and 12" Vinyl record single in March 2006. It gained some of its popularity due to its use on primetime BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe's television advert, and it was also made Record of the Week by Ken Bruce of BBC Radio 2, Scott Mills and Jo Whiley of BBC Radio 1 as well as being made 'Weekend Anthem' by DJ Spoony and Sara Cox (also of Radio 1).

"Crazy" is the first ever single to top the UK singles chart purely on download sales as it was released online a week before it was released as a CD single. It is also the first single to top the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks consecutively since 1994 when Wet Wet Wet's "Love Is All Around" was number one for 15 weeks (the last song to spend exactly nine weeks on top was "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood in 1984). It has also equaled the Queen 1975 classic "Bohemian Rhapsody", which also topped the UK singles chart for nine weeks. "Crazy" is also the longest number-one on the UK Official Download Chart with its stay lasting eleven consecutive weeks. Gnarls Barkley announced that as the record had spent its ninth week at number one, it was to be deleted as a vinyl/CD listing from May 28, 2006 so people will "remember the song fondly and not get sick of it". St. Elsewhere has been certified Platinum by the RIAA for selling over 1,000,000 albums in the U.S.


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